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Interstate thieves who hit Mercer Island get jail time

Justice arrived this week for several burglarized commercial businesses on Mercer Island and many more cities across the country.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman sentenced former Portland resident, 37-year-old Antione Lamont Lawrence, also known as “Tony Montana” or “T,” to 97 months in prison and five years supervised release, for his role in a fraud scheme that targeted dozens of cities across the United States from 2001 through 2007.

“A sentence of over 2,900 days in a jail cell sends a powerful message to anyone who would consider doing the same thing,” said Marcus Williams, the IRS special agent in charge of the Pacific Northwest.

In May 2010, Lawrence pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and admitted that he and his team committed commercial burglaries in more than 40 cities across the United States, including Mercer Island.

Lawrence led a team of thieves who traveled from Portland to other cities to burglarize commercial office buildings, steal checks, credit cards and personal information, and then use the stolen items to create false identification documents and checks to commit bank fraud. Judge Mosman also ordered Lawrence to pay $688,623.72 in restitution to his victims.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, U.S. Secret Service and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

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